Luke presents Jesus as the Ideal Man -- Chapter 09
LUKE 9:1 Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases.
:2 And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick.
:3 And he said unto them, Take nothing for your journey, neither staves, nor scrip, neither bread, neither money; neither have two coats apiece.
The disciples were poor and had to live by faith.
LUKE 9:4 And whatsoever house ye enter into, there abide, and thence depart.
:5 And whosoever will not receive you, when ye go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet for a testimony against them.
:6 And they departed, and went through the towns, preaching the gospel, and healing every where.
King Herod had killed John the Baptist and now got worried. Even the bad guys get worried when Jesus steps in on the scene.
LUKE 9:7 Now Herod the tetrarch heard of all that was done by him: and he was perplexed, because that it was said of some, that John was risen from the dead;
:9 And Herod said, John have I beheaded: but who is this, of whom I hear such things? And he desired to see him.
By killing John the Baptist, who was filled with the Holy Ghost, Herod had effectively blasphemed the Holy Spirit which is the unpardonable sin.
Thus Jesus, the Word, never spoke to Herod.
Jesus now decided to feed the 5 000 men in the wilderness.
LUKE 9:13 But he said unto them, Give ye them to eat. And they said, We have no more but five loaves and two fishes; except we should go and buy meat for all this people.
:14 For they were about five thousand men. And he said to his disciples, Make them sit down by fifties in a company.
:15 And they did so, and made them all sit down.
:16 Then he took the five loaves and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed them, and brake, and gave to the disciples to set before the multitude.
This miracle refers to the future seven church ages of the Gentile church.
Jesus gave the food to the disciples. The disciples gave the food to the different groups of people. This represented the 2 000 years of church history when Jesus would inspire the disciples to write the New Testament, and those doctrinal teachings would be spread to whatever groups of people assembled as believers in the various places and in the different church ages. All Christians have learned Bible truth from what the disciples wrote at the start of the church ages. The New Testament is the foundation of Christianity. We can only learn about God from what is written in the Bible.
The original seven items of food also symbolize the seven church ages. The fish that swim underwater is a symbol of the underground church during the severe Dark Ages persecutions of the third and the fourth church ages. The bread symbolizes Bible doctrine that was the basis of the other five church ages.
LUKE 9:17 And they did eat, and were all filled: and there was taken up of fragments that remained to them twelve baskets.
The feeding of the 5 000 represented the disciple's doctrine that would feed all the different groups of Christians throughout the 2 000 years of church history. At the end, the dead Christians would resurrect, and then the Christians would go to Heaven with the Lord Jesus at His Coming. Then the Gospel would go back to the twelve tribes of Israel in the great Tribulation. Moses and Elijah will feed them on the same fragments of doctrine that form the New Testament. The Jews will end up believing the same as what the Gentile church believes. They will eat the same spiritual food that the church believed and fed their souls on.
LUKE 9:18 And it came to pass, as he was alone praying, his disciples were with him: and he asked them, saying, Whom say the people that I am?
:19 They answering said, John the Baptist; but some say, Elias; and others say, that one of the old prophets is risen again.
When asked what other people thought, they all answered. People love to quote what other people say. They are scared to believe something for themselves. We humans prefer to be parrots and just repeat something that we heard.
LUKE 9:20 He said unto them, But whom say ye that I am? Peter answering said, The Christ of God.
When asked what they themselves thought, Peter was the only one who actually had a personal revelation of who Jesus was. He was the only one who answered.
LUKE 9:21 And he straitly charged them, and commanded them to tell no man that thing;
Jesus told them to keep quiet. The Jews were on their way out of God's truth. The disciples were going to start the Christian church. So there was no need to be telling the Jews what they would be unable to believe.
LUKE 9:22 Saying, The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day.
Far from believing that Jesus was God in the flesh, the Jews were actually going to kill Him.
Please notice that it was the religious leaders who rejected Christ. Then they persuaded the people.
The leadership is where the Jews and the church would go wrong.
LUKE 9:23 And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.
Christians must die to self. Self must be dead. The cross represents suffering. Then Christians must follow no human leader, only Jesus, Who is the Word. We must never believe anything unless we see it written in God's Bible.
LUKE 9:24 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.
God has a Big Picture, which is a spiritual river of God's will running through the affairs of men. We each have our small pool of selfish self-will. If we preserve self by splashing around in our small personal puddle in order to suit ourselves, then we die spiritually. If we surrender our self-will and die to self, then only can we be pushed into God's river which will sweep us off in an unknown direction that we do not want to go in. But this river is the only path to safety. If we are not dead to self we will spend our time struggling to get out of the river.
LUKE 9:25 For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?
Women. Money. Fame. Whatever we gain on this world is temporary. We cannot take it with us. Being the richest man in the graveyard is a poor consolation.
LUKE 9:26 For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father's, and of the holy angels.
We must stand up for the Word of God. Churches have gone off into traditions, man-made doctrines and other errors. We have to keep staying with what is written, which means having to disagree with your favourite church, your nice church leaders, and your family. That is not an easy path to follow. It all depends on who comes first in your life.
The mount of transfiguration experience represents the end of the seventh church age. The Coming of the Lord has two events that precede it. The dead in Christ shall rise first. These are all the saints from the seven church ages. Then the living believers will be changed into new bodies. Then all will be caught up into the air to meet the Lord Jesus, and go with Him to the wedding supper in Heaven.
Then two prophets, Moses and Elijah, will take the Gospel to the Jews in the great Tribulation.
LUKE 9:27 But I tell you of a truth, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the kingdom of God.
Three disciples would see the Second Coming of Jesus acted out on Mount Transfiguration.
LUKE 9:28 And it came to pass about an eight days after these sayings, he took Peter and John and James, and went up into a mountain to pray.
Seven days passed. Symbolizing the seven church ages that would be complete. The eighth day (8 represents a new system) would represent the start of the great Tribulation. The word "about" is a little fuzzy as there is a changeover time from when the church ages end and when the Tribulation starts.
LUKE 9:29 And as he prayed, the fashion of his countenance was altered, and his raiment was white and glistering.
A supernatural change occurs. This represents the dead saints rising in immortal bodies and the living church being changed into immortal bodies.
Jesus shines with a radiant glory that no mortal man can compare with. This is to illustrate that He is so far superior to any man, that no human can possibly be compared to Him.
LUKE 9:30 And, behold, there talked with him two men, which were Moses and Elias:
Jesus had a radiance that totally outshone these two great prophets, who were just men. Jesus is far more than a Man. The supernatural God Who was in Him was shining out to transform Him.
Moses symbolizes the resurrection of the dead saints from the seven church ages, because he died.
Elijah never died, and thus symbolizes the living church at the end that will have their bodies changed.
But the spirit of Elijah was also promised to return at the end of the Gentile church ages to restore all things back to the apostolic beliefs of the first church age as laid out in the New Testament.
MATTHEW 17:11 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things.
John the Baptist had come in the spirit of Elijah. But John was now dead. So this is a future prophecy.
Thus at the end there will be an Elijah-like ministry to turn the end-time believers back to the doctrines of the New Testament church that were lost during the Dark Ages. This restoration will prepare believers for the catching away of the church to meet the Lord in the air.
LUKE 9:31 Who appeared in glory, and spake of his decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem.
Moses and Elijah appeared in glory but it was to discuss His death. (Our greatest glory as Christians is when we can die to ourselves). Calvary is the key event of His First Coming, as that achieved salvation for both Jew and Gentile and thus prepared the way for His glorious Second Coming.
After the church is caught up to heaven, then Moses and Elijah will take the Gospel back to the Jews during the great Tribulation. The 144 000 will receive Jesus as Messiah, and then die.
So the end time events at the Coming of the Lord are brilliantly summarized by this Mount of Transfiguration experience.
LUKE 9:32 But Peter and they that were with him were heavy with sleep: and when they were awake, they saw his glory, and the two men that stood with him.
The parable of the ten virgins: They were clean women -- saved Christian churches. But they were all fast asleep just before the wedding. A cry woke them up -- the Elijah who came to restore the church back to the faith of the New Testament apostolic fathers.
Then as the church gets caught up to Heaven, these two prophets (Moses and Elijah) take the Gospel back to the twelve tribes of Israel during the Tribulation, to prepare them for the Coming of Jesus to the 144 000 Jews.
LUKE 9:33 And it came to pass, as they departed from him, Peter said unto Jesus, Master, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias: not knowing what he said.
A trinity spirit gets hold of Peter. A huge human weakness is our desire to elevate famous men that God has used. Notice the massive error. Peter is putting two great humans on the same level as Jesus.
A church spirit also got hold of Peter. He wants to make a tabernacle or church in the name of a famous man of God. A Lutheran church or tabernacle. A Wesleyan church or tabernacle. This is the spirit of denomination which has eventually divided Christianity into 30 000 different kinds of denominational and non-denominational church groups.
Many Message believers place the quotes of William Branham as equal to Scripture. Some even claim the quotes to be above Scripture.
You do not have a revelation from these quotes unless you can prove your belief from Bible verses only.
Peter's biggest mistake was offering advice to Jesus. We must just believe the Bible and never try to improve on it. God does not need our suggestions or advice.
LUKE 9:34 While he thus spake, there came a cloud, and overshadowed them: and they feared as they entered into the cloud.
A cloud obliterated the scene to symbolize the complete obliteration of Peter's suggestion. The three disciples got scared which is the correct attitude in the presence of God. In an atmosphere of fear we are more inclined to listen and less inclined to speak.
A cloud that comes down on a mountain is experienced as a thick mist in which one loses direction and gets hopelessly lost. This is what happens to us Christians when we try to compare some man to Jesus. Saying that Moses or Elijah or William Branham can be compared to Jesus is just indicating that we are lost in the mists of unbelief.
LUKE 9:35 And there came a voice out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him.
Any voice that speaks to us at the end-time will only reveal what is written in the Bible. Which is Jesus in Word form. Only hear Him, the Word of God. No other man.
In the "days of the voice of the seventh angel" we must take all of his quotes back to Scripture, and only believe the ideas that can be proven by joining Bible verses together to reveal the truth.
The quotes of a man, where he has got it right, can only point to the truth. The truth itself is only found in the Bible. Line upon line. Scripture backed up by more Scriptures, with no contradictions.
ISAIAH 28:13 But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.
No error can run through the Bible without contradicting Scripture somewhere. The biggest deception of our age has been Message preachers using quotes to establish their beliefs. Why do they not prove their ideas from the Bible? Because their ideas are wrong, and thus cannot be found in the Bible. They are so in love with their own ideas, and the boost to their egos because they are regarded as clever, that they happily disregard the Bible.
For instance many "Message" preachers will tell you that they know the new name of Jesus. Different preachers have invented many different "new names", so it depends on who you are talking to.
REVELATION 19:12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.
The Bible says that no man knows the new name of Jesus.
Thus "Message" preachers claim to know what the Bible says we cannot know.
Our ultimate. Only listen to the Bible, the Word of God. The Bible is our Absolute.
Moses and Elijah, two of the greatest prophets, cannot even begin to be compared with Christ.
Those "Message" preachers who claim that William Branham's quotes can be equated with Scripture are deceiving the people and perverting what he taught.
Any man's revelation must be tracked down through the relevant Bible verses that alone will establish it as being correct.
The top three disciples, left to themselves were just as clueless as we are. Human opinion means nothing. There are no famous people in the presence of Jesus.
In our digital age there are only two numbers: 1 and 0. In terms of this digital information age, Jesus is number One and every other human being is a zero.
Which number are you?
LUKE 9:36 And when the voice was past, Jesus was found alone. And they kept it close, and told no man in those days any of those things which they had seen.
A voice spoke. The mist departed. Only Jesus was seen. There is no-one to compare with Jesus. He alone saves us. If you have heard the voice of the seventh angel, then you will see Jesus alone as your Absolute, walking through the pages of the Bible as you link Scripture verses together to see a clearer revelation of Jesus Christ.
The top three disciples had been reduced to silence. Their personal contributions were just an open door to huge error. They were learning a vital lesson that they must only reflect what Jesus said, not their own opinions. Only then would they be fit to write the New Testament.
So the church has only one Leader: Jesus. One creed: Christ. One Book: the Bible.
Never forget that in your admiration of some famous person. Take your eyes off the Bible and like Peter, you will sink in the waters of the very deceptive spiritual waves of religious deceit that sweep over the world today.
The pit of hell has opened in our day, and spews out smoke which represents the deceiving spirits of all seven church ages combining to fool the end-time Bride. These subtle, charming, and persuasive spirits have many clever doctrines (there are many varieties of the so-called end-time "Message") but they all share one common plan of attack. They make you take your eyes off the Bible. You end up unable to prove what you believe by just using the Scriptures. That is why we need the shield of faith. Faith only comes by hearing the Word.
William Branham was not promised as the "Voice of God". That is an unscriptural title for his ministry. He was promised as the "voice of the seventh angel". His book publishers thus add to the confusion.
This Transfiguration scene refers to the end of the church ages so there was no need to tell it to any Jews of that day as it would be meaningless to them.
A man brought his demon possessed dumb son to Jesus.
LUKE 9:40 And I besought thy disciples to cast him out; and they could not.
:41 And Jesus answering said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you, and suffer you? Bring thy son hither.
:42 And as he was yet a coming, the devil threw him down, and tare him. And Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, and healed the child, and delivered him again to his father.
:43 And they were all amazed at the mighty power of God. But while they wondered every one at all things which Jesus did, he said unto his disciples,
Jesus had just demonstrated huge power. Then He warned the disciples that He would be killed. This was not because He lacked power, but because that was an essential part of God's hidden salvation plan.
So when things go wrong we must realize that God is doing something different to what we would do.
Then if we got into God's thinking, we would realize that nothing had gone wrong. God wanted it to work out like that.
God has huge power which He sometimes hides behind a show of human weakness. But do not be fooled. He knows exactly what He is doing. That way He keeps the Devil guessing.
LUKE 9:44 Let these sayings sink down into your ears: for the Son of man shall be delivered into the hands of men.
:45 But they understood not this saying, and it was hid from them, that they perceived it not: and they feared to ask him of that saying.
The disciples could see Jesus in His amazing power. But they had no clue that on Calvary Jesus would hide His power behind a veil of tortured human flesh and a display of apparent human weakness.
The disciples were totally incapable of seeing God's hidden plan unfold.
Messiah underwent a final series of events that totally baffled everyone. None of the people knew what was going on at Calvary. So we are warned that at the Second Coming of Jesus, things are going to be totally different to anything that we humans are expecting.
Humans are thus not competent to lead the church, because we humans simply do not know what God's hidden will is.
All we can do is stay with the Bible, and not do or believe anything that is different to the Bible.
The Bible alone can illuminate the next steps we will have to take.
Luke speaks of another great error that afflicts us humans.
LUKE 9:46 Then there arose a reasoning among them, which of them should be greatest.
This is one of the greatest curses in the Christian church. The desire to elevate a man. Worse still, the desire to elevate self. Competitive Christianity feeds the ego and stresses self-importance as Christians say, "I am greater or better than you", which is the deadly seed of self-adoration. This really appeals to the self-obsessed. Christians, who feel superior, want to teach others to be like themselves, and thus make converts in their own image. They want to make clones of themselves.
LUKE 9:47 And Jesus, perceiving the thought of their heart, took a child, and set him by him,
:48 And said unto them, Whosoever shall receive this child in my name receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me receiveth him that sent me: for he that is least among you all, the same shall be great.
Jesus replies to the question "Who is the greatest?" by holding up a child. But a child is not the greatest. So the church will not be built on "the greatest". There is no such position in the church. No child would claim to be the greatest, because children are very curious and ask lots of questions, simply because they realize that they know so little and they are anxious to learn. So Jesus is offering us this example. He basically is telling us that we actually know very little of what the Bible is saying. We should be more anxious to learn than to teach. In our bodies we have two eyes and two ears, but only one mouth, showing that we need to learn more than we need to teach.
So we are not nearly as clever as what we think. An attitude of spiritual superiority is not a Christian virtue.
The least Christian is great in God's eyes. We are unlikely to uplift the least Christian, and that implies that there is no uplifted or greatest human leader. Christ alone is the Head of the church. We must only hear Him as He speaks through His Word. God sees a humble obedience to His Word as greatness.
While these disciples were desperately competing with each other for greatness, they had no idea that one of their mortal enemies, a Pharisee named Saul, would overshadow all of them in terms of setting up the foundation of the Christian church. Saul was later going to have his name changed to Paul.
Once again, by thinking about themselves, the disciples got completely onto the wrong path.
Luke hits out against the spirit of denominationalism -- "My church is the right church."
There is not one church group which alone can claim to be correct.
LUKE 9:49 And John answered and said, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name; and we forbad him, because he followeth not with us.
:50 And Jesus said unto him, Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us.
The supernatural will be manifest in many different churches, despite their differences in doctrine. No one group has the monopoly on the supernatural.
ROMANS 11:29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.
God is not limited by the walls that churches build around themselves in order to be "the best church" or the "only church with the real truth".
We need to respect God's gifts and talents wherever we see them in operation.
Each Christian needs to grasp that God moves outside the cozy consensus of his or her specific church group.
Luke does not want us to condemn our opponents to destruction.
The Samaritans did not receive Him in a certain village.
LUKE 9:54 And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did?
:55 But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of.
:56 For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.
Things have not changed over 2 000 years. Christians still get angry when people disagree with them. Christians still hope that God will destroy their opponents.We are free to disagree about doctrine, but should never wish for anyone's destruction, however wrong they might be. If we think that way then we have a very wrong spirit.
The Archbishop of Canterbury recently prayed that Richard Dawkins, an atheist and outspoken critic of the church, would be healed from ill-health. Atheists were so stunned by the Archbishop's consideration for a fellow human being that many questioned if he actually meant this prayer. He did. He was just setting a good example to the rest of us. Disagree with someone by all means, but show him every respect and consideration as a fellow man. Well done to the Archbishop for showing us how to handle this situation. And well done to Richard Dawkins for recovering his health. Every human being has a right to be healthy.
As a church we need critics to point out our faults. Only then can we improve. And judging from the mess that the world is in, all of our churches need a lot of improving. So thank God for the critics. They keep us on our toes which is much better than all of us being complacently asleep in our man-made beliefs.
Luke emphasizes that for us humans, following Jesus is not easy. Being a Christian is no bed of roses.
LUKE 9:57 And it came to pass, that, as they went in the way, a certain man said unto him, Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest.
:58 And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.
:59 And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.
:60 Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God.
:61 And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house.
:62 And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.
We have to focus on the Gospel first. There may be no convenient place for us to sleep. Even emotional involvement with family funerals or family farewells cannot take away our priority for obeying God first.
God's will sweeps us off into directions that we would not personally have chosen to go.
When we accept Jesus as our Head, we have no further say in where the path leads. The body can only obey the head, it cannot tell the head what it wants to do.